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Charlotte Helicopters
Differences of Part 141 vs 61
Why do some schools say they are "Certified Flight Schools" ?

A.    Part 141 vs. Part 61 Pilot Training

When a flight school talks about training under Part 61 or being a Part 141 approved school, it is talking about the federal regulations under which it has the authority to train pilots. Both sets of regulations define minimum requirements for pilot training and certification. Both methods of flight training require the student to meet the same standard of performance in order to obtain a pilot certificate. Regardless of the whether the student trains under Part 61 or Part 141, several factors go into how much time is actually needed to meet the standards of certification. Below are some interpretations of the regulations and serve as differences between the 2 types of schools.
 

1.      Both Part 61 and Part 141 require the student to meet the same standard of performance in order to obtain a pilot certificate.

2.      Part 61 regulations primarily define the certificate requirements, privileges, limitations and eligibility of Airmen(pilot) and Flight Instructors. (Part 61.1)

3.      Part 141 regulations are primarily related to the structure and approval of flight schools. (Part 141.1)

4.      Whether associated with a flight school or not, any pilot who holds a current and valid Flight Instructor Certificate, may train a student to meet the certificate requirements of Part 61. (61.193)

5.      Only those organizations who hold a Pilot School Certificate issued under Part 141, may train a student to meet the requirements of Part 141. Training under Part 141 regulations is permitted only by instructors associated with a Part 141 flight school. In order to become approved, a flight school must meet certain requirements and submit each curriculum it wishes to have approved to the FAA for review. Part 141 approved schools are subject to regular surveillance audits by the FAA and must meet minimum pass rates on the practical exams. (141.73)

6.      Part 61 students may apply 100% of previous training and experience toward a meeting the requirements of a certificate, provided the instructor and examiner are satisfied with the credibility of training. (61.39.a.3)

7.      Part 141 students may only apply up to 50% of previous training and experience toward a certificate depending on the source of training and experience. (141.77)

8.      Part 141 Schools and instructors must follow the approved curriculum, and may not deviate without receiving an approval for revisions. (141.83)

9.      Part 61 does NOT define the method or syllabus to which an instructor or school must follow; it defines the minimum standards for each certificate or rating sought. 

10.  Part 141 defines the instructor qualifications, airports, facilities, aircraft, and method of instruction approved for use by a certificated school, without deviation.

Realistically, the way a student learns and his or her long-term goals are the best criteria for deciding the regulations under which to train. After making that determination, the student needs to find the best fit among the choices within the preferred regulations. Both excellent and inferior flight instruction may be found under both sets of regulations. The table below describes some of the potential advantages and disadvantages for the training regulations. It may be noted that some criteria can be both, depending on the student's training goals.


Regulation

Advantages

Disadvantages

Part 61

More flexible training environment. The instructor can modify the syllabus to meet a student’s training needs.

Better for part time students who work or have trouble with a regular fixed schedule

Students can interview and choose the flight instructor or school that best fits.

Very little restriction on facilities, aircraft, airports available to train.

Fewer requirement of structure and organization in training

Less oversight from the FAA regarding pass/fail rates

Student’s preparedness is subjective to instructor’s opinion.

Higher FAA minimum flight training hours.

Part 141

Very structured and fast paced training environment

Follows a strict curriculum

More closely resembles a traditional post secondary institution.

Reduced FAA Minimums for each rating

Lose up to 75% of previous experience

Minimal flexibility to meet a student’s training needs.

Restricted to certain airports, facilities, and a strict curriculum.

Students are frequently assigned an instructor regardless of student opinion.

Requires more overall flight training hours.

 

 

 

Furthermore I have compiled a table to compare the FAA requirements for training time.


 

61 Regulation Reference

Part 61 Required Hours

 

141 Regulation Reference

Part 141 Required Hours

Notes

Private Pilot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ground Training

61.103.b.1 /61.105.a

1

 

Appendix B.3.a.1

35

 

Total Flight Time

61.109. a b or c

40

 

Appendix B.4.a.1 2 or 3

35

 

Flight Training

61.109. a b or c

20

 

Appendix B.4.a.1 2 or 3

20

 

Solo

61.109. a b or c

10

 

Appendix B.4.a.1 2 or 3

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instrument Rating

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ground Training

61.65.a.3  /61.65.b

1

 

Appendix C.3.a.1-2

30

 

Instrument Flight Total

61.65.d.2  /61.65.e.2

40

 

Appendix C.4.a.1

35

 

Instrument Flight Training in Category/Class

61.65.d.2  /61.65.e.2

15

 

Appendix C.4.a.1

35

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commercial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Ground Training (Airplane/Helicopter)

61.123.c.1 /61.125.a

1

 

Appendix D.3.a.1 or 3

35/30

 

Total Flight Time (Airplane/Helicopter)

61.129.a b or c

250/150

 

Appendix D.4.a.1 or 3

120/115

 

Flight Training Time

61.129.a b or c

20

 

Appendix D.4.a.1 or 3

55/30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ground Training

61.183

1

 

Appendix F.3.a.1

40

 

Flight Training

61.187

1

Note

Appendix F.4.a.1

25

15 hours of PIC is required in the Category/Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instrument Instructor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ground Training

61.183

1

 

Appendix G.3.a

15

 

Flight

61.187

1

 

Appendix G.4.a

15

 

 

Total Ground

5

 

Total Ground

120

 
 

Total Flight Training

57

 

Total Flight Training

150/125

 
 

Total Flight Time(A/H)

250/150

 

Total Flight Time(A/H)

250/150

 
             

For Reference Only Not included in Totals

Airline Transport Pilot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ground Training

61.155

0

 

Appendix E.3.a

40

 

Total Flight Training (Airplane/Helicopter)

61.159 /61.161

0

Note

Appendix E.4.a

25

as long as its not in conjunction with a type rating

 

The important takeaway from this chart is that these are FAA Minimums. On very few occasions a student will obtain the certificates with only the FAA required minimums. It is quite frequent that students require 50 to 100% more training time over the minimum FAA training hour requirement.

 

Charlotte Helicopters Career Training


There are many reasons why we choose to train using Part 61 regulations but the main 2 are flexibility and cost. A Part 141 school incurs significant administrative burden and cost to obtain and maintain a pilot school certification. While some may believe this burden is worth the FAA approved credential, we disagree. Charlotte Helicopters believes that money should be spent on better focused training, in better equipment, using real world scenarios.” Furthermore, I am a veteran myself, and I want our students to leave CHI and say, “I learned so much more than I expected.

Before we begin its best to define a few terms.  For the purpose of this document, this applies to either airplane or helicopter pilots, there are additional certificates and ratings but they were intentionally omitted for brevity. 

 

 

Pilot Certificates

There are only 5 available, they are Student, Private, Commercial, Instructor and Airline Transport Pilot. Consider this the level of experience, like high school diploma, associates, bachelor etc. You can only earn a certificate level once.

 

 

Ratings-
Almost any other FAA approval for a pilot is called a rating. The types of ratings range from Category and Class to Aircraft Type Rating, Type of Operation rating, Instrument Ratings

 

 

Instrument Ratings-    Airplane, Helicopter Must be attached to a Private, Commercial or Instructor Certificate

 

Category-                    Airplane, Rotorcraft May be attached to all Certificates except a Student must be accompanied by a Class

 

Class                            Single Engine Land(A), Multi-Engine Land(A), Helicopter(R), Gyrocopter(R)  Must be attached to a Category.

 

      Aircraft Type              MD-80, SK-92           


1.Employable Graduates:

Our number one focus for career training students is that they graduate qualified and capable of immediately obtaining a job. As operators we are in tune to the aviation industry and understand the minimum industry requirements and the factors that drive them. These factors include current supply of available pilots, insurance FAA, other industries that require aviation to name a few.  In the real world of aviation, certificates and ratings are just pieces of plastic that make your wallet thicker. You have to have them to be a pilot, but the insurance companies do not recognize the FAA minimum requirements as “sufficient” to cover pilots in commercial operations. Insurance companies consider several other factors including type of operation, total flight experience, hours of pilot in command time, hours in type of aircraft and history of accidents just to name a few. The less experience the higher the premium, which causes employers to bypass FAA certified pilots because they lack the required minimums for insurance coverage. Employers must get pilots from somewhere, and since it is such a desirable career field, the supply for certificated pilots, both airplane and helicopter is far from short. The vast majority of employers choose a pilot on what else they bring to the company. Therefore the more ratings, the more employable. In addition, a new pilot with exposure to real world experience is invaluable to an aircraft operator, because they are trainable, and have the vocabulary to learn. Many new graduates, whether airplane or helicopter pilot, begin their career as a flight instructor. Although it seems backwards, the cost of training does not support the salary requirements of highly experienced pilots. So almost like a rite of passage, or paying dues the pilot works for $20 to $30 per flight hour until they reach the magic number of 1000 hours of pilot in command time. At that point most companies can afford the premium to insure the pilot for typical passenger carrying, and utility operations. There are exceptions, where a pilot with the right training, the right background, the right ratings will be hired at as little as 300 hours TT, but they are almost always the pilot that has realistic training, vast understanding of operations, and can work as ground crew or bring something else to the table. The employer then sees the value in the investment in additional insurance premium. These are the jobs we prepare our students to obtain.

 

Realistic Training.
At Charlotte Helicopters, we are an operator first, we are FAA approved for air tours, external load operations, and we conduct aerial photography, videography and flight training to name a few. We use every opportunity possible to get the student pilot involved in our operations. Even as a ground crew member the student learns the flow of an operation, vocabulary, and even safety procedures.

 

Maximum Value for Required Training

Whether a pilot wishes to fly airplanes or helicopters, the insurance companies require a minimum of 300 hours total flight time. One could imagine how expensive it would be to get to train for 300 hours in even the least expensive helicopter @ $325 an hour. Charlotte Helicopters refusing to compromise for safety, chooses to use a Robinson R44 II helicopter. This helicopter more appropriately applies to real helicopter operations. We have devised a training syllabus that allows a student pilot to obtain the ratings for both airplane and helicopters on their way to reaching the 300 hour goal. By blending airplane time with helicopter time the training cost is significantly reduced. In addition, most jobs available to new pilot are teaching jobs. As the economy has tightened flight schools have moved toward expanding their offering to draw in more students, by adding airplane instruction. A pilot with both helicopter and airplane instructor ratings is invaluable to a flight school. Finally many other operators offer flight training as part of their services. A pilot with experience in their normal operations such as external load, air tours etc again gives the operator flexibility and more reason to hire a new pilot. Finally by combining the two programs the student frequently is able to obtain ratings at experience levels much closer to the FAA minimum required hours, saving training budget.  

 

On the Job Training.
As a result of Charlotte Helicopters choice to train under Part 61 regulations, we can allow a student to choose which training they are interested. Once they have completed phase 1 of our rating and obtained their Helicopter commercial pilot certificate. We allow them to ride along as Pilot in command or Second in command for flights in our normal operations at only 1/3 the normal rate. A student gains valuable experience in real world operations.
Pre Enrollment Evaluation and Estimate
This is by far the most important component of our program. Many schools will take any student at anytime so long as they have the budget to fly. And in fact for non career students we do as well. In addition, even if they only have the budget to partially complete their training, they sell them that they will finish and be able to get a job promising that they will reach the rating at the FAA minimum. A gross underestimate and intentionally deceitful to get the student to start training. At Charlotte Helicopters we require every career student to complete an evaluation with us. The evaluation consists of a review of previous flight records, personal interview, oral examination, assessment of the students’ motivation, and ability to learn, 5 hours of Flight examination with at least 2 different instructors, and finally a custom training estimate. In doing the evaluation, it allows the student to interview us, and determine if they are comfortable with our method of instruction and instructors. At the same time it allows Charlotte Helicopters to interview potential students. Every time we send a student out into the workforce, our name is one the line. We take pride in standing behind the students we train with references, networking opportunities and if timing works out a position with Charlotte Helicopters. We only choose students who we believe would make good employees for us. It allows the student and or financier (VA) to feel confident that a student is suited for an aviator career.

6.    

  Custom Training Estimate
. Formed during the pre enrollment evaluation. The custom training estimate is our best guess at how much time and training will be required for a student. The Part 61 regulations allow us to focus training on students’ weak skills and reinforce their strengths. We believe that a student will finish their training within a margin of error of 10%.

 

Charlotte Helicopters, Inc.

Reini Grauer, Pilot & CEO

1110 Baron Rd.
Waxhaw, NC 28173
Phone: (704)839-8499

Email: rgrauer1@gmail.com 

All tours include a 15 minute safety briefing and introduction to the helicopter. Maximum weight restriction is 300 lbs. per seat (3 passengers maximum). Children under the age of 2 can sit on the lap of a passenger. There is no age restriction to participate. 

Please feel free to contact us with any questions!

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